A History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume 13, South-West Wiltshire: Chalke and Dunworth Hundreds. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1987.
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Alvediston parish, 1,026 ha. (2,534 a.) until 1986, lies at the head of the Ebble valley 15 km. WSW. of Salisbury: (fn. 1) 12 a. of Berwick St. John parish were transferred to it in 1986. (fn. 2) From the 10th century the land of Alvediston was part of Wilton abbey's Chalke estate. (fn. 3) Alvediston was first recorded by name in 1165, (fn. 4) had a church in the 12th century, and had apparently become a parish by the late 13th. (fn. 5) The parish is long and narrow, extending 5 km. across the river valley, and wider at its northern than at its southern boundary. The northern boundary, marked by the ridge between the Ebble and Nadder valleys, was possibly a boundary of the Chalke estate from the 10th century. (fn. 6) The southern boundary is marked by a dry valley, and dry valleys also mark parts of the eastern and western boundaries. At its north end the western boundary follows the contours of the downs. Chalk outcrops over the whole parish, except where Upper Greensand outcrops south of the river and east of Windmill Hill. (fn. 7) The Ebble rises west of Windmill Hill, skirts the north side of the hill, and flows eastwards to cross the parish boundary at the hamlet of West End, most of which is in Ebbesborne Wake. Land near the river lies below 122 m. North and south of the Ebble it rises to over 229 m. on White Sheet Hill, over 213 m. on Middle Down, and 243 m., the highest point in the parish, on Trow Down. Windmill Hill reaches 179 m. Long narrow valleys have been cut into the downs. One such, the Coombe, is north of Norrington Farm; others bound the eastern and southern sides of Manwood Copse.
Evidence of prehistoric activity survives on the downs. Bowl barrows have been identified on Middle Down and Gallows Hill and ditches on Middle Down and at the parish's north-western corner. West of the Coombe there is a field system covering 24 ha. There are bowl barrows on Trow Down and a ditch has been found south of it. On Elcombe Down is a Bronze-Age field system measuring 182 ha. which extends eastwards into Ebbesborne Wake. (fn. 8)
In historical times the flatter ground north, east, and south-east of Windmill Hill was arable. The downs and deep valleys further north and south were pastures, and north of Norrington Farm there was a warren. (fn. 9) The southern part of the parish was more heavily wooded than the northern. The woodland at Trow in 1086, which was 6 furlongs long and 3 broad, (fn. 10) may have been part of a larger area of woodland on the northern fringe of Cranborne Chase, (fn. 11) of which Elcombe Copse, first recorded in 1567, (fn. 12) and Goscombe Copse and Manwood Copse, both mentioned in 1664 when they measured 5 a. and 35 a. respectively, (fn. 13) were the remnants. In 1842 there were c. 90 a. of woodland in the parish, of which 80 a. were in the south part. (fn. 14) Some woodland was planted north of the river, on Windmill Hill, and elsewhere in the late 19th century. (fn. 15) A dewpond on Elcombe Down was called Wermere in 1618. (fn. 16)
From the 13th century the lords of Cranborne Chase claimed rights of chase and the administration of some forest laws in Wiltshire south of the river Nadder. In Alvediston, as in neighbouring parishes, the claims were often resisted. (fn. 17) Grants of free warren to the holders of Alvediston and Norrington manors in 1304 and 1307 respectively (fn. 18) limited but did not end the exercise of chase rights within the parish. From the mid 14th century until the early 19th presentments of offences including the mismanagement of coppices, illegal hunting, and trespass in Alvediston were made to the chase courts. (fn. 19) In the 17th century Manwood Copse was said to be part of Staplefoot walk, a deer walk of the chase, but the claim was contested by the lord of Norrington manor; (fn. 20) a keeper's lodge in or near the copse was perhaps built at that time as part of the manor. (fn. 21) As the result of a suit the lord of the chase was allowed the privilege of purlieu on the land of the manor. (fn. 22) In 1728 the lord of the manor claimed the right of purlieu in Manwood Copse and on Trow Down and of appointing a keeper, but no judgement was given on his claim. (fn. 23) Renewed attempts to exercise full rights of chase led to further litigation in 1816, arising in part from the shooting of a greyhound on Trow Down. The owner of the chase was then found to have rights only of following and driving home deer over Trow Down and other lands within the chase's outer bounds. (fn. 24) Controversy ended with the disfranchisement of the chase in 1829. (fn. 25)
Old roads followed the northern and southern watersheds of the Ebble, running south-west and north-east through the parish; the Herepath ran close to but not along the northern parish boundary, and Ox Drove crossed Trow Down. (fn. 26) In 1762 the northern route was turnpiked as part of the road from Salisbury to Shaftesbury (Dors.). The trust lapsed when that road was superseded by the modern Salisbury—Shaftesbury road on lower land in the Nadder valley turnpiked in 1788. (fn. 27) In 1983 both ridge ways were passable but unmetalled. Other roads, parallel with the ridge ways, linked the villages of the Ebble valley, including Alvediston, with Berwick St. John. A path north of the river, which in the 20th century led westwards from West End via Alvediston church and Norrington Farm, marked the route of a valley road which had fallen out of use by the late 18th century. Another road then ran south of the river through Alvediston village; in the 20th century it was the principal road in the parish. Roads led north from the village and from Norrington Farm to the old turnpike road in the late 18th century. That from Norrington Farm continued north to Ansty via Ansty Coombe. (fn. 28) In the mid 19th century and perhaps earlier steps cut into the side of White Sheet Hill linked the road running north from Alvediston village and another running south from Ansty. (fn. 29) Those roads were joined and access to Alvediston improved by a road built on the north side of the hill in 1896. (fn. 30) In the 20th century, as in the late 18th, tracks led north from the Berwick St. John road around the east and west sides of Windmill Hill to Norrington Farm and south across Trow Down and to Elcombe Farm. (fn. 31)
Alvediston was perhaps more prosperous than the average parish in Chalke hundred in the 14th century, (fn. 32) and in 1377 had 111 poll-tax payers, close to the average in a hundred where there were wide differences in population. (fn. 33) In 1801 the population was 217. It had fallen, for what reason is not known, to 160 by 1811 but had increased to 281 by 1871. It fell again, with some fluctuations, in the late 19th century and the 20th. (fn. 34) In 1981 there were 86 residents. (fn. 35)
Alvediston church stands on the chalk above the northern bank of the Ebble. West of it are Church Cottage and Church Farm, the site of the demesne farmstead of Alvediston manor, (fn. 36) and east of it is the Old Vicarage. The main range of Church Cottage is late 16th-century or early 17th-century; it had a three-room plan with a passage leading to a central rear wing. It may have been extended at the back in the late 17th century; in the 19th it was further extended, the front wall was rebuilt, and the interior much altered. In the 17th century and perhaps earlier there was also settlement on the Upper Greensand, flatter ground south of the Berwick St. John road. Two 17th-century stone cottages survive beside Elcombe Lane. Probably in the 18th century building took place along two lanes joining the church and the road; one ran south-west along the river's southern bank and then climbed south, the other, 100 m. further east, led directly south-east. In 1773 there were more houses beside the western lane, later the Ansty road, than the eastern, and the western junction with the Berwick St. John road had become the village centre. (fn. 37) The southern part of the eastern lane had become no more than a footpath by the mid 19th century. (fn. 38) Manor House, a doublepile red-brick house east of the Ansty road, was probably built in the early 18th century, the date of its west front. The east front was added or altered in the mid 18th century. The house was restored between 1938 and 1948 by Victoria Bailey, Baroness Glanusk, later wife of P. B. Frere, using panelling and ornament from other houses. (Robert) Anthony Eden, earl of Avon (Prime Minister 1955–7), lived there from 1966 until his death in 1977. (fn. 39) Other 18th-century buildings include a thatched flint and brick cottage in the north-eastern angle of the junction of the Ansty and Berwick St. John roads, cottages west of the Ansty road, and four brick estate cottages south of that road where it runs beside the river. Cottages in the north-west angle of the junction, which were demolished in the mid 20th century, may have been of similar date. (fn. 40) South of the road to Berwick St. John, the Crown, first recorded as an inn in 1867, (fn. 41) may also be of 18th-century origin. There was little new building in the 19th century or the 20th. The former school southeast of the junction, the farmstead south of it, and a cottage in Elcombe Lane are of the 19th century. A bungalow 250 m. south of the church is of the late 20th.
Norrington Farm stood beside the Ebble in the Middle Ages; (fn. 42) there may then have been a small settlement around it but it is recorded as no more than a farmstead from the 16th century. (fn. 43) The site of Samways, a farmstead north of the Berwick St. John road, was in use in the 17th century. That of the medieval farmstead of Trow has not been traced; (fn. 44) the name survives for farm buildings which stood south of the Berwick St. John road in 1773. There were then also farm buildings east of Elcombe Lane. (fn. 45) By 1842 cottages had been built at Trow Farm and a house at Elcombe Farm. (fn. 46) A small farmstead was built north-west of the church beside the Ansty road in the late 20th century. A few buildings, including a pair of cottages dated 1865 and a chapel, stood beside the Berwick St. John road in 1983. Houses of the 19th century and the 20th near the eastern parish boundary are part of West End.
Manors and other Estates.
Lands which later formed ALVEDISTON manor were among 100 mansiunculae (small dwellings) at Chalke granted by King Edwy to the nuns of Wilton in 955. (fn. 47) Wilton abbey apparently held the whole of Alvediston in 1066 and all except the estate called Trow in 1086. (fn. 48) In 1197 Geoffrey of Wenhaston and his wife Alice released to the abbey their interest in 'Alfetheston', probably Alvediston; (fn. 49) the nature of their claim is not clear. A grant of the manor by the abbey, presumably at fee farm, was confirmed to Berenger the butler in 1216. (fn. 50) He or another Berenger held Alvediston in 1242–3, (fn. 51) as did John Berenger at his death in 1272. John was succeeded by his son Ingram, a minor. Ingram's wardship was granted to his mother Christine Berenger; (fn. 52) keeping of the manor may have been granted to John of Grimstead, who held Alvediston at his death in 1288 and was succeeded by his son Andrew. (fn. 53) Ingram Berenger had recovered the manor by 1304 when he was granted free warren in his demesne at Alvediston. (fn. 54) He was attainted and Alvediston forfeited in 1330; later that year the manor was granted to John of Leicester, subject to the payment of annuities of £10 to Bevis de Bayeux and £5 to Odard Dependale. (fn. 55) In 1331 the manor was restored to Ingram Berenger (fn. 56) (d. in or before 1336), who was succeeded in turn by his son John (fn. 57) (d. 1343) and John's son Ingram, a minor. (fn. 58) In 1350 John's nephew Nicholas Berenger granted Alvediston to Nicholas Pinnock, (fn. 59) and in 1356 Nicholas Pinnock, that Nicholas's heir, conveyed it to John Everard and Walter Godmanston, (fn. 60) possibly agents of Wilton abbey. In 1359 Everard conveyed the manor to the abbey, (fn. 61) which held it in 1428 as 4/5 knight's fee. (fn. 62)
The manor passed to the Crown at the Dissolution. In 1541 it was granted to Sir William Herbert (cr. earl of Pembroke in 1551); (fn. 63) the grant was confirmed in 1544. (fn. 64) The manor descended with the Pembroke title to Reginald Herbert, earl of Pembroke and Montgomery, who sold it in 1918 (fn. 65) as two farms, Church farm, c. 350 a., and Elcombe farm, c. 400 a. Both were bought jointly by T. H. Sims and A. G. Hull and were owned by Sims & Son in 1923. (fn. 66) Church farm was sold in 1959 by T. H. Sims's son Thomas to Mr. G. B. Grant, the owner in 1983. T. H. Sims sold c. 200 a. of Elcombe farm to William Marks, who sold 100 a. (fn. 67) to Mr. J. M. Wort, the owner in 1983. Mr. B. T. Marks, William's son, was owner of the other 100 a., still called Elcombe farm, in 1983. (fn. 68) Most of the other lands of Elcombe farm were sold by Sims to a Mr. Thomas. The holding was bought in 1938 by Victoria Bailey, Baroness Glanusk, later wife of P. B. Frere, (fn. 69) c. 1948 by members of the Mason family, and later by members of the Beckingham family, who added another 150 a. to it in the 1950s. In 1966 the farm, c. 300 a., was bought from the trustees of Una Beckingham by Anthony Eden, earl of Avon (d. 1977), who sold most of the land in 1975 to Christopher Parnell, Baron Congleton, the owner in 1983. (fn. 70)
An estate of 6 hides within the boundaries of Wilton abbey's Chalke estate in 955 or later may have been part of what became Alvediston parish, but it belonged to 'Rimuc Wude', perhaps indicating that it was held with Ringwood (Hants). 'Trogan', a landmark on the boundary of the 6 hides, has been identified as one of the deep valleys near Manwood Copse and the estate as that later called TROW. (fn. 71) In 1066 Trow, 7½ hides, was held by Wilton abbey as part of the Chalke estate. In 1086 Richard Poingiant held Trow of the king but the abbey still claimed the estate (fn. 72) and it retained overlordship of the land of Trow until the Dissolution. (fn. 73) Aileva held 2 of the 7½ hides in 1066, possibly the demesne land; her name led to an erroneous suggestion that her estate was the whole of Alvediston manor. (fn. 74)
Peter Scudamore held land at Trow at his death in or before 1293. It passed to his daughter Alice, relict of Adam Bavant, (fn. 75) and by 1301 to her son Roger Bavant, (fn. 76) later knighted. In or before 1338 Sir Roger was succeeded by his son Sir Roger (fn. 77) who in 1339 settled estates including Trow on trustees for his wife Hawise and her children during her life. In 1344, however, Sir Roger granted those and other estates to the king. Hawise's trustees contested the grant and in 1345 Trow and other lands were settled on new trustees for her life with reversion to the king. (fn. 78) All Sir Roger's estates were restored to him for life in 1346 (fn. 79) but later in that year Hawise's trustees recovered the lands settled on them. (fn. 80) Sir Roger died in 1355; (fn. 81) in 1358 the lands held by Hawise's trustees were surrendered to the king (fn. 82) and granted to William Thorpe and William Peek for lives, with remainder to the newly founded priory at Dartford (Kent). (fn. 83) An annuity was granted to Hawise (fn. 84) and any remaining income from Trow may thereafter have passed to the priory. Hawise surrendered her claim to part of Sir Roger's estate in 1362. (fn. 85) Their daughter Joan, wife of Sir John Dauntsey, claimed the lands until in 1373 she received Marden manor in compensation from the king. (fn. 86) A part of the Bavant estate at Trow, however, passed with Marden in the Dauntsey and Stradlyng families to Edmund Stradlyng (d. in or before 1461), whose son John inherited it; (fn. 87) no later reference to that holding has been found. Dartford priory c. 1366 held lands formerly in trust for Hawise. (fn. 88) Its estates were surrendered to the king in 1371 (fn. 89) and restored in 1372. (fn. 90) After the Dissolution the Trow estate passed to the Crown and in 1544 was granted to George Ludlow. (fn. 91) Thomas Gawen may have held it c. 1553; it was afterwards merged with his Norrington manor. (fn. 92)
In 1242–3 an estate at Trow was held by Alexander of Trow and Geoffrey of Trow (fn. 93) (fl. 1249). (fn. 94) Thomas of Trow was said to hold lands there in 1281–2; (fn. 95) his son Richard held them in 1338. (fn. 96) In 1333 Geoffrey of Trow made a grant of his life interest in lands at Trow. (fn. 97) Stephen Francis forfeited an estate at Trow in 1345; it was then conveyed to Wilton abbey. (fn. 98) One of those estates was the manor later called TROW CRAWLEY, said in the 15th century to be held of Shaftesbury abbey. (fn. 99) Sir Richard Moleyns (d. 1384) held the manor (fn. 100) and was succeeded in turn by his son Sir William (d. 1425) and by Sir William's son William, (fn. 101) who granted it to his mother Margery Moleyns for life. At her death in 1439 (fn. 102) it passed to the younger William's daughter Eleanor, wife of Robert Hungerford, Lord Hungerford and Moleyns (d. 1464). (fn. 103) In 1472 the manor was settled on Eleanor and Sir Oliver Manningham, her second husband, on condition that they conveyed it to Eleanor's granddaughter Mary Hungerford, Baroness Botreaux and later Baroness Hungerford, wife of Edward Hastings, later Lord Hastings. (fn. 104) The condition may not have been fulfilled; in 1491 Manningham made a grant of Trow Crawley for his life. (fn. 105) The manor passed presumably by inheritance to Mary's son George Hastings, earl of Huntingdon, who settled it on the marriage of his son Francis in 1532. Huntingdon later mortgaged it, disregarding the settlement; the mortgage was redeemed and the settlement restored in 1538. (fn. 106) In that year Trow Crawley was sold to Richard Jervoise (fn. 107) (d. 1557), (fn. 108) who devised it to his wife Winifred for life. (fn. 109) Their son Thomas held it at his death in 1588 and was succeeded by his son Thomas, (fn. 110) later Sir Thomas. At Sir Thomas's death in 1654 Trow Crawley passed to his son Thomas, (fn. 111) who sold it in 1657. (fn. 112) In 1659 it was bought by Robert Hancock. (fn. 113) From the early 16th century and perhaps earlier the Hastings and the Jervoise families' estate consisted only of a rent; (fn. 114) that rent may have passed with Fifield Bavant manor from Hancock to members of the Thynne family. (fn. 115) From the late 14th century members of the Gawen family, owners of Norrington manor, were tenants of Trow Crawley. John Gawen held it in the 1390s, (fn. 116) and in 1439 Laurence Gawen was tenant for his life. (fn. 117) Thomas Gawen (fl. 1557) claimed Trow Crawley as a freehold, (fn. 118) although rents were still paid for it later. (fn. 119) The lands had apparently been merged with those of Norrington manor by 1606. (fn. 120)
NORRINGTON manor was held of the king in 1210–12 (fn. 121) and 1242–3 (fn. 122) but of the heirs of William Brewer as 1 knight's fee in 1275. (fn. 123) Sir John Ferlington surrendered the overlordship to the king in 1304. (fn. 124) In 1361 the manor was held of the prior of Wallingford (Berks., later Oxon.) (fn. 125) and in 1486 of the honor of Wallingford. (fn. 126)
The manor was held by Robert Chamberlain in 1210–12, (fn. 127) and in 1242–3 by Geoffrey Chamberlain (fn. 128) (fl. 1250). (fn. 129) He may have been the Sir Geoffrey Chamberlain who conveyed Norrington to Sir Nicholas Haversham in 1267 (fn. 130) and to Robert Chamberlain in 1269. (fn. 131) Hugh Chamberlain held the manor in 1275 (fn. 132) as did Robert Chamberlain in 1304, (fn. 133) when it passed, presumably by sale, to John of Berwick. (fn. 134) In 1307 Berwick was granted free warren in his demesne at Norrington. (fn. 135) At his death in 1312 the manor passed to Roger Hussey, (fn. 136) later Sir Roger, Lord Hussey, his grandnephew. (fn. 137) Lord Hussey (d. 1361) was succeeded in turn by his brother John (fn. 138) (d. 1370) and John's son John (fn. 139) who sold Norrington to John Gawen in 1377. (fn. 140) Gawen and his namesakes held the manor in 1395, 1402, 1408, and 1462. (fn. 141) Thomas Gawen held Norrington at his death in 1486 and was succeeded by his son John (fn. 142) (fl. 1504). (fn. 143) Thomas Gawen (d. c. 1558) (fn. 144) held the manor in 1535 and 1557, (fn. 145) and his son William (d. 1559) devised it to his wife Alice for life and thereafter to their son Thomas. (fn. 146) Alice held Norrington in 1576 (fn. 147) but may have conveyed it to Thomas before her death in 1598, (fn. 148) possibly in 1577; (fn. 149) in 1592 Thomas was said to hold either the manor or the reversion of the manor. (fn. 150) Two thirds of his estate were in 1592 and at his death in 1604 held by the Crown because of his recusancy. (fn. 151) Norrington passed in turn to his relict Catherine (fl. 1628) (fn. 152) and son Thomas, who held it in 1646. Both suffered seizure of two thirds of the estate for recusancy. (fn. 153) In 1654 the manor was sequestrated and sold to William Barnes, apparently the agent or trustee of Thomas (fl. 1646, d. 1656) and his son William. (fn. 154) In or before 1659 William Gawen sold Norrington to Sir Wadham Wyndham. (fn. 155) Barnes's relict Jane, wife of John Barnes, claimed it in her own right but the dispute was settled, apparently in 1660, in Wyndham's favour. (fn. 156) Wyndham (d. 1668) was succeeded in turn by his son John (d. 1724) and John's son John (d. 1750). The younger John settled the manor on his daughter Anne, wife of James Arundell, with reversion to his cousin William Wyndham. (fn. 157) That William's grandson William Wyndham inherited it on Anne's death in 1796. (fn. 158) Norrington passed from father to son in the Wyndham family from William (d. 1841), to William (d. 1862), William (d. 1914), and William (d. 1950), (fn. 159) whose brother John sold it in 1952 to A. F. S. Sykes (d. 1980). (fn. 160) Mr. T. Sykes, his son, was the owner in 1983. (fn. 161)
Norrington Farm (fn. 162) includes part of a late 14th-century stone house, the vaulted undercroft of which lies beneath the north end of the western cross wing. The hall and the porch at its south-east corner were built in the 15th century. Probably soon after Sir Wadham Wyndham bought Norrington manor, the eastern service wing was rebuilt and extended northwards and the solar wing was altered and a detached range built south-west of it. There may then have been formal gardens south of the house, where the ground was apparently terraced, and the river was dammed to make an ornamental lake, known in the 20th century as Norrington pond. The house was reroofed in the 18th century, but was allowed to fall into disrepair in the late 18th century and the early 19th. (fn. 163) Since 1959 the central block has been extensively restored. (fn. 164) In 1983 the western service range and part of the east wing were used as cottages.
Probably before 1200 Robert White granted lands in Alvediston, including a messuage called 'Staenihalle', perhaps inherited from his father John of Trow, to Alexander Wike. (fn. 165) By 1287 the messuage and probably the lands had passed to Wilton abbey. (fn. 166) Other lands which had been White's were granted by the abbey to John of Parham for life c. 1192. (fn. 167) In 1314 William of Biddestone, probably a trustee, granted 2 carucates in Alvediston to a John Parham. (fn. 168) In 1332 Parham conveyed them to Ingram Berenger, (fn. 169), perhaps an agent of Wilton abbey. Berenger surrendered lands formerly White's and Parham's to the abbey in that year. (fn. 170)
In or before 1214 Henry of Winchester granted to Richard of Melksham 1 hide in Alvediston, (fn. 171) which was held in 1222 by Richard's son William. (fn. 172) The land may have been that part of Alvediston manor held freely by Stephen de Bayeux and in 1250 by his heirs, then minors. (fn. 173) It apparently passed to Stephen's sister-in-law Gillian de Bayeux and at the division of her estate in 1252 was allotted to her daughter Alice, wife of John Parham. (fn. 174) It may thereafter have descended to John Parham (fl. 1332), to his son Edmund, (fn. 175) and to Richard Parham (fl. 1359). (fn. 176) PARHAMS was probably derived from that estate. It was held in 1558 and 1567 by John Samways (fn. 177) and c. 1595 by Robert Samways. (fn. 178) In 1609 it was settled on William Gould and his wife Elizabeth. Gould (d. 1638) was succeeded by his son William, (fn. 179) whose son William inherited Parhams c. 1670 (fn. 180) and sold it to Thomas Freke in or before 1691. By will proved 1702 Freke devised the land jointly to his kinsman Thomas Pile and to Pile's daughter Elizabeth, wife of another Thomas Freke; the reversion was devised to the testator's nephew George Pitt. (fn. 181) The land was said to be held by a Thomas Freke in 1706 (fn. 182) and in 1756, (fn. 183) and by the heirs of a Thomas Freke in 1758, (fn. 184) but probably passed with Rushmore in Berwick St. John on Elizabeth's death in 1714 or 1715 to George Pitt (d. 1734). (fn. 185) Pitt was succeeded in turn by his son George (d. 1745) and by George's son George (cr. Baron Rivers in 1776), (fn. 186) who held the land in 1750. (fn. 187) By 1780 it had passed, presumably by sale, to Thomas King. (fn. 188) He was succeeded in turn by his son Thomas (d. 1811) and by Thomas's son Thomas (d. 1825) (fn. 189) and nephew Thomas King (fl. 1842). (fn. 190) William Day held the land, then called Samways farm, in 1865 and 1867. Frederick Gray may have been the owner in 1875 and 1890. (fn. 191) The farm was sold, perhaps in 1898, (fn. 192) and certainly in 1904; (fn. 193) Frederick Benjafield was the owner in 1907. (fn. 194) F. W. Hoole bought the farm, c. 400 a., in 1911 (fn. 195) and was succeeded in 1951 by his daughter Miss O. E. Hoole, the owner in 1983. (fn. 196) In or before 1920 George Compton bought 101 a., part of Samways farm. (fn. 197) The land was perhaps part of that added to the Beckingham family's portion of Elcombe farm in the 1950s. (fn. 198)
Samways incorporates a small 17th-century building in its service wing and re-used panelling of that date, but the main building is apparently 18th century. In the mid 18th century, the date of the central staircase, the house probably had a main north—south range with gable chimneys and the short service wing at its south end. New service rooms were added on the south side in the early 19th century, and about that time a small park was made around the house with an avenue leading to the eastern entrance. In the later 19th century specimen trees were planted and a summer house and a grotto built in a walled garden. Parts of the stableyard north—east of the house date from the 18th century but the yard was enlarged and a gateway with a clock tower added in 1861. (fn. 199)
The RECTORY estate of Alvediston, said in the mid 16th century to include 5 a. (fn. 200) but in the 18th century and later consisting only of tithes, (fn. 201) became part of the endowment of Chalke prebend in the conventual church of Wilton at an early date. It was probably part of it in 1288 and certainly was in 1299. (fn. 202) Wilton abbey conveyed the presentation to the prebend to Henry VI in 1448, and the rectory estate was acquired by King's College, Cambridge, presumably in 1449. (fn. 203) The college held the estate in 1459. (fn. 204) It was apparently confiscated on Edward IV's accession and granted to Wilton abbey. In 1475 the abbey was licensed to restore it to the college (fn. 205) in return for a rent which was extinguished at the Dissolution. (fn. 206) King's College retained the rectorial tithes of Alvediston until they were commuted for a rent charge of £395 in 1842. (fn. 207)
In 1428 the 'rector of Newton', presumably the incumbent of either North Newnton or South Newton prebend in the conventual church of Wilton, held a portion of tithes in Alvediston. (fn. 208) The canons of Salisbury cathedral received 6s. 8d. from Alvediston church, presumably from the rectory, in 1535. (fn. 209)
Wallingford priory, which was overlord of Norrington manor in 1361, (fn. 210) had another estate in Alvediston in 1291. (fn. 211) It is not clear what was in it; it may have been very small, because in 1318 a contribution due from it for the clerical subsidy could not be raised. (fn. 212) The priory held the estate in 1428. (fn. 213)
Lands formerly held by John Pinnock were conveyed to his son Nicholas in 1360. (fn. 214) In 1420 Geoffrey Pinnock settled them on his wife Alice. (fn. 215) They passed to Laurence Pinnock (d. in or before 1484), (fn. 216) to Laurence's son Stephen, to Stephen's son John, and to William Pinnock (fl. 1504). William was succeeded by his kinsman Thomas Oliver or Marsh who had conveyed the lands to Wilton abbey by 1509. (fn. 217) Thereafter they were merged with Alvediston manor.
The parts of Alvediston which lay within the 77-hide Chalke estate in 1086 were not described separately in Domesday Book. Details were, however, given of the estate called Trow. In 1066 it was assessed as 7½ hides of which 2 hides held separately were perhaps the demesne; the remainder was held by men owing the service of villani. (fn. 220) The demesne was assessed in 1084 at 5 hides and 3 yardlands, in 1086 at 5 hides. Trow was in 1086 said to include land for 4 or 5 ploughteams; there were 3 teams on the demesne and 3 villani shared 1 team. There were 2 a. of meadow, and pasture 4 furlongs long and 3 furlongs broad. (fn. 221)
In the late 12th century sheep-and-corn husbandry was practised at Alvediston and there were two open fields. (fn. 222) In the mid 16th century there were three fields, presumably lying immediately north and south of the village, Home, Middle, and South fields. Pastures in the north-east corner of the parish, in the Coombe and on Middle Down, and near its southern end, on Elcombe Down and 'South Down', south-west of Elcombe Down, had earlier been used in common by the lord and tenants of Alvediston manor; those in the north were then used exclusively by the tenant of the demesne farm and those in the south exclusively by the copyhold tenants of the manor. Other pasture, the location of which is not known, was shared by the copyhold tenants and the owner of Parhams farm. (fn. 223)
In 1195 Wilton abbey leased the demesne of Alvediston manor with stock including 20 oxen, 200 ewes, and 20 lambs, possibly as part of a lease of the whole manor, and took as part of the rent the wool of 200 sheep. (fn. 224) From 1216 to 1359 the whole manor was apparently at fee farm. (fn. 225) The demesne arable was reckoned at 80 a. in 1288, at 220 a. in 1331. The demesne included no several pasture in 1288 (fn. 226) and the extent of rights of common feeding attached to it then is uncertain. In the early 13th century the demesne and tenantry flocks together numbered some 950 sheep; the demesne flock numbered 224, and three customary tenants each had 100 or more sheep. There were 27 customary tenants in 1225, (fn. 227) 32 in 1331, when 18 worked on the demesne every working day except Saturdays from 1 August to 29 September. Rents totalling 15s. 6d. were then paid by seven cottars. (fn. 228) By the mid 14th century the farmer's income from the manor had declined to less than the value of rents due in kind to Wilton abbey. (fn. 229) That may have prompted the surrender of the farm in 1359. (fn. 230)
In the late 15th century and early 16th the demesne was increased by several small copyholds which had fallen vacant, and by the absorption of the freehold formerly William Pinnock's. (fn. 231) In 1567 the demesne, 170 a. of arable, of which 80 a. lay as one field south of Alvediston village, and 300 a. of pasture, was entirely several. Nine copyholders held 10 yardlands, including 234 a. of arable in the three open fields and in a smaller, recently inclosed, field. They had pasture for 800 sheep. No holding was of more than 2 yardlands. A tenth copyholder had c. 18 a. of arable lying among the several lands of Parhams farm and grazing rights for 120 sheep with that farm's flock. Services of cutting and carrying hay were said to be owed by four copyholders. (fn. 232) 'Bourdland' was held by cottagers c. 1500 and in 1567, when it amounted to 9 a. (fn. 233)
The Pinnock family's freehold consisted of 24½ a. of arable and pasture for 120 sheep in 1360, (fn. 234) and was described as 1 yardland in 1509, when it was part of the demesne of Alvediston manor. (fn. 235) In the late 16th century and the early 17th Parhams farm included inclosed arable north of the road to Berwick St. John and, further north, pasture shared with a copyholder of Alvediston manor. (fn. 236) The farmer probably also had lands in the open fields and rights of common pasture; (fn. 237) their extent is unknown.
The holdings of Alvediston manor changed little between the mid 16th century and the early 18th. The demesne was leased to members of the Lawes family from the mid 17th century to the early 19th. (fn. 238) In 1706 the farmer also held 1½ yardland, formerly copyhold, by lease, and a further 5½ yardlands, still copyhold, were held with the farm in 1758. Other copyholders held a total of only 2 yardlands in 1758. Downland, perhaps on Middle Down and Elcombe Down, had recently been ploughed and meadow land and other arable had been inclosed. (fn. 239) Probably as a result, in the late 18th century the demesne, Church farm, was several; it comprised c. 500 a. in separate but consolidated portions north and south of the church. (fn. 240) By 1781 the copyhold lands that had previously been part of Church farm had become a new farm, Elcombe, (fn. 241) worked from Manor House and the farmstead south of the junction of the roads to Ansty and Berwick St. John. When common cultivation was ended in 1792, under an Act of 1785, 189 a. of copyhold land, mostly south of the village, was allotted for Elcombe farm and 26 a. to another copyholder. An allotment of 382 a. west of the village, extending north and south to the parish boundaries, was made for Samways, formerly Parhams, farm. (fn. 242)
The location and number of open fields of Norrington and Trow in the Middle Ages is uncertain. Later field names suggest that those of Trow lay north and south of the road to Berwick St. John, (fn. 243) and a North field, north-west of Windmill Hill, is recorded for Norrington in the early 17th century. (fn. 244) Gallows Hill and the downland east of it presumably provided pasture for Norrington and Trow Down for Trow. The lord of Norrington manor also had pasture rights for cattle in Cranborne Chase in the 17th century. (fn. 245)
The demesne of Norrington manor included 140 a. of arable in 1312 and pasture for 300 sheep in 1361. Rents and services, valued at 42s. 6d., were received from 12 ½-yardlanders in 1312. The holdings of 12 free tenants may have then been small or have lain outside the township; (fn. 246) no such holding is mentioned after the mid 14th century. In 1362 the estate called Trow comprised 57 a. of arable and pasture for 200 sheep. (fn. 247) Trow Crawley was said to include 240 a. of arable and only 10 a. of pasture in 1425. (fn. 248) By the mid 16th century the Norrington and Trow estates had probably been merged. (fn. 249) The demesne farm of the enlarged estate was leased c. 1570 (fn. 250) but members of the Gawen family apparently managed their portion of it themselves after two thirds of the estate had been confiscated in or before the 1590s. The confiscated portion was managed as a separate estate; c. 1604 the Crown's tenant was reported to have ploughed c. 40 a. of meadow and downland and part of the warren which had extended over 80 a. north of Norrington Farm. (fn. 251)
In 1664 Norrington was a single farm of 1,219 a., occupying the western half of the parish. There were 330 a. of arable, 841 a. of pasture, including c. 700 a. of downland, and 48 a. of meadow, mostly around Norrington Farm. (fn. 252) In the late 17th century and the early 18th a large flock was kept; there were 788 sheep in 1669, 1,800 sheep and lambs c. 1730. (fn. 253) By the early 19th century much of the lowland pasture had been converted to arable and some downland had been burnbaked; there were 442 a. of arable in 1818. (fn. 254) The farm was leased from the 1690s, (fn. 255) and between 1789 and 1833 members of the King family, owners of Samways farm, were lessees. (fn. 256)
In 1842 the parish included 1,077 a. of arable, 1,222 a. of pasture, most of it downland, and 65 a. of meadow. There were four large farms, Norrington, 1,269 a., and Samways, Church, and Elcombe, each of c. 400 a.: all were approximately half arable and half pasture. (fn. 257) Members of the Parham family were tenants of Norrington farm from the mid 19th century to the mid 20th. (fn. 258) Since 1956 the farm has been worked by its owners. Some downland was ploughed during the Second World War and a further 400 a. were ploughed after 1956. There was a dairy on the farm until 1956. In 1983 cereals and herbage seed were grown and fat lambs produced. (fn. 259) Church and Elcombe farms were usually leased together in the late 19th century and the early 20th. (fn. 260) They were worked by their owners in 1919, perhaps together in the 1920s. (fn. 261) In the 1950s some corn was grown and cattle were kept on Church farm but it was then chiefly, and in 1983 entirely, a sheep farm. (fn. 262) Cattle were kept on the lands which passed with Manor House in the 1960s and 1970s; (fn. 263) those lands were worked with others in Ebbesborne Wake in 1983. (fn. 264) Elcombe was a dairy farm in the mid 20th century. The portion owned by Mr. B. T. Marks was used for corn in 1983. (fn. 265) William Day, owner or tenant of Samways farm, trained racehorses in the parish in the 1860s. (fn. 266) Samways farm was of 389 a. in 1904, including 105 a. of pasture. (fn. 267) In 1920 it was divided into farms of 316 a. and 101 a. (fn. 268) Racehorses have been bred on the larger farm since 1911, and most of its land was worked with that of Church and Elcombe farms in 1983. (fn. 269) The smaller was among the lands worked from Ebbesborne Wake. (fn. 270)
The parish formed a single tithing, from which a tithingman attended sheriff's tourns for Chalke hundred in the early 16th century. (fn. 274) Courts for Alvediston manor were held in the 14th century and the late 15th. (fn. 275) They were apparently held, but not annually, in the early 16th century; there was no court 1539–40. (fn. 276) Courts were held in spring and autumn in the late 16th century, but often only once a year in the late 17th and every two or three years in the early 18th. There were spring and autumn courts each year in the 1740s but from the 1790s courts were held at intervals of several years as business arose. The principal business was tenurial. In addition the homage presented buildings, bridges, and hedges requiring repair, the destruction of boundary marks, and, between 1711 and 1714, the need for a pound. Orders were made to control the use of common pastures. (fn. 277) Courts were held for Norrington manor in the 14th century. (fn. 278)
Annual expenditure on the poor rose from £23 in 1714 to £54 in 1725 but fell to £16 in 1765. (fn. 279) Between 1816 and 1834 it averaged £145. Expenditure rose to £165 in 1820 and fell, unusually, to £72 in 1824. In the late 1820s it was over £170 a year but it fell again in the 1830s. (fn. 280) Alvediston became part of Tisbury poor-law union in 1835 (fn. 281) and, with the rest of Mere and Tisbury rural district, part of Salisbury district in 1974. (fn. 282)
There was a church at Alvediston in the 12th century. (fn. 283) It had become part of the endowment of Chalke prebend in Wilton conventual church probably by 1288, when it was described as a chapel, (fn. 284) and certainly by 1299, when it was said to be a chapel of Broad Chalke. (fn. 285) There is, however, no evidence of obligations owed from Alvediston as a dependent chapel of Broad Chalke. There were vicars of Alvediston from 1299 until the mid 16th century, (fn. 286) but from 1584 or earlier Broad Chalke, Bower Chalke, and Alvediston were held as one benefice and incumbents were presented to Broad Chalke vicarage with Bower Chalke and Alvediston chapels. (fn. 287) A recommendation of 1650 that the livings be separated (fn. 288) was apparently ineffective. They were held together (fn. 289) until the perpetual curacy of Alvediston was created in 1861. (fn. 290) The living was later called a vicarage; it was held in plurality with Berwick St. John rectory in 1945–6 and from 1947 to 1955, and with the united benefice of Ebbesborne Wake with Fifield Bavant from 1956. (fn. 291) In 1963 the benefice of Ebbesborne Wake with Fifield Bavant and Alvediston was formed (fn. 292) and in 1970 the parishes were united. (fn. 293) From 1972 the Chalke Valley group ministry served that benefice and those of Bishopstone with Stratford Tony and of Broad Chalke and Bower Chalke. (fn. 294) In 1981 Ebbesborne Wake with Fifield Bavant and Alvediston, Broad Chalke and Bower Chalke, and Berwick St. John were united as the benefice of Chalke Valley West. (fn. 295)
The advowson of Alvediston was held at his death in 1288 by John of Grimstead, who then also had the keeping of Alvediston manor. The advowson passed to his son Andrew, (fn. 296) whose son John presented twice to Alvediston vicarage in 1331. (fn. 297) From 1299, however, until the mid 15th century prebendaries of Chalke were usually patrons. (fn. 298) John Lambock presented in 1339, (fn. 299) probably by a grant of a single turn, and in 1344 the bishop of Salisbury was patron, (fn. 300) for what reason is not known. The advowson passed with the prebendal estate c. 1449 to King's College, Cambridge; (fn. 301) the college was thereafter patron of the vicarage of Alvediston and of that of Broad Chalke with Bower Chalke and Alvediston. (fn. 302) When the perpetual curacy was created in 1861 the vicar of Broad Chalke became its patron. (fn. 303) He was entitled to present at one of every three turns to the united benefice of Ebbesborne Wake with Fifield Bavant and Alvediston from 1963. (fn. 304) His share of the patronage passed to the bishop of Salisbury who was entitled to present to Chalke Valley West benefice at every third turn from 1981. (fn. 305)
In 1535 the annual value of Alvediston vicarage was £10, a little below the average for south Wiltshire benefices. (fn. 306) The value of the vicarage of Broad Chalke with Bower Chalke and Alvediston, £336 c. 1830, was close to the average for the country. (fn. 307) In the 18th century and the early 19th vicarial tithes from Alvediston parish included hay tithes from 15 a. and certain closes of meadow, tithes of wool and lambs except from Norrington farm, and other tithes, except those of corn, from the whole parish. In 1842 they were replaced by a rent charge of £80, (fn. 308) which in 1861 became the endowment of the perpetual curacy. (fn. 309) Thereafter the perpetual curate also received £16 yearly from King's College, formerly paid to the incumbent of the combined benefice. (fn. 310) The vicarial glebe measured 1 a. in 1842 and 1886. (fn. 311) A vicarage house, 'much in decay' in 1668, (fn. 312) was demolished in the 18th century. (fn. 313) A new house was built in 1862–3 (fn. 314) and sold in 1947. (fn. 315)
From the mid 16th century there were frequent complaints of clerical neglect of Alvediston, prompted by the lack of a resident incumbent. It was reported in 1553 that there had been no sermon for two years, in 1565 that services were held irregularly, because the vicar was a pluralist, and in 1584 that no service had been held for some months. (fn. 316) In the early 17th century a curate conducted services and catechized but did not preach. (fn. 317) The vicar of Broad Chalke, John Sloper, and two curates, who presumably served Bower Chalke and Alvediston, were commended for 'constant' preaching during the Interregnum, (fn. 318) but in 1668 Sloper failed to provide either a curate or services in Alvediston. (fn. 319) Curates, who usually lived outside Alvediston, again served the parish in the late 18th century and the early 19th. Services were apparently irregular in 1783 (fn. 320) but in the 1830s the curate was required to hold a service every Sunday and a parishioner paid £20 a year for a second Sunday service to be held. (fn. 321) In 1851 there was again one weekly service, attended by a congregation of 92 on Census Sunday. (fn. 322) In 1864 communion was celebrated on Easter, Whit, and Trinity Sundays and once a month; of the 18 communicants, 15 usually received the sacrament. From c. 1862 until 1945 vicars resided in the parish. (fn. 323)
The church, called ST. MARY'S in the mid 18th century, (fn. 324) has a chancel with a north chapel, a nave with transepts and a south porch, and a west tower. Of the 12th-century church, only the nave, small and with thick walls, appears to survive. The chancel was possibly replaced in the 13th century but may have survived longer. In 1585 it was said to be 'down' (fn. 325) and was afterwards presumably rebuilt or repaired. The south transept or chapel was built in the 14th century; there is an effigy of a knight in armour below the south window. The north transept may also have been built in the 14th century. The tower was built in the 17th century. In 1865 the church was extensively restored to designs by T. H. Wyatt. The north transept was rebuilt, the north chapel was built, and the chancel was given 13th century features. (fn. 326)
In 1553 plate weighing 2 oz. was confiscated from Alvediston and a chalice of 11 oz. left there. The chalice was probably that of c. 1521 which, with its cover, belonged to the parish in 1983. In 1640 there was a pewter flagon. A paten of the 16th or 17th century and a paten and flagon given in 1865 were held by the parish in the late 19th century and in 1983. (fn. 327) In 1553 there were four bells. A bell of 1630 and another of 1640 were presumably hung soon after the tower was built. With an early 19th-century bell they hung in the church in 1983. (fn. 328)
Registers of baptisms begin in 1592, of burials in 1593, and of marriages in 1594. There are gaps in those for baptisms for the years 1760–1, and for burials and marriages for various years in the 17th and 18th centuries. (fn. 329)
Members of the Gawen family, owners of Norrington manor and resident in the parish, were Catholic recusants. (fn. 330) Thomas Gawen (d. 1604) was imprisoned or confined in or near London in the 1580s and 1590s. (fn. 331) Members of his household were presented for absence from the parish church in the 1580s, among them his wife Catherine (fn. 332) who was indicted for speeches against the Crown in 1603 and 1605. (fn. 333) Three papists living in the parish between 1661 and 1674 were probably former servants of the family. Two papists were recorded in 1767, (fn. 334) none in 1783. (fn. 335)
Houses in Alvediston were registered for dissenters' meetings in 1800 and 1820. Two houses were registered for Primitive Methodists' meetings in 1844. (fn. 336) From 1861 meetings of Primitive Methodists were held at 'Trough Buildings', (fn. 337) presumably part of Trow Farm. A congregation of 20 met there in 1864. (fn. 338) A small brick chapel was built south of the road to Berwick St. John in 1894. (fn. 339) It had been closed by 1951. (fn. 340)
There was a day school at Alvediston in 1818, (fn. 341) perhaps that attended by 20 children in 1833. (fn. 342) In 1858 a school for 30 infants was held in a cottage. (fn. 343) A day school, mentioned in 1864, (fn. 344) was perhaps that said to be a National school in 1867. (fn. 345) A new National school and a teacher's house were built between 1870 and 1872. (fn. 346) Attendance rose from 30 in 1890 to 45 in 1911 (fn. 347) but had fallen to 15 by 1919. The school was closed in 1922; (fn. 348) thereafter children from Alvediston attended schools in Berwick St. John and Ebbesborne Wake. (fn. 349)
Charity for the Poor.
By will proved 1826 Thomas King gave £500 for poor parishioners; the beneficiaries were to have received no parish relief in the year preceding the distribution of the income. (fn. 350) In the early 1850s £20 a year was spent on clothes and bedding or distributed in cash; there were 59 beneficiaries in 1855. (fn. 351) The income had fallen to between £12 and £14 yearly by the 1890s (fn. 352) and was similar in 1960. Under a Scheme of 1970 the income, approximately £6 in 1983, was used to provide cash or goods for poor parishioners. (fn. 353)